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7771 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 573611 26-Jan-2012 14:11 Send private message

i read something that has a good point.

no one would think of hacking into nz sites ... afterall nz wasn't on the map before ... (ok correct me if wrong)

but now http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/6318272/NZ-websites-under-DoS-attack-threat

hey why not go hack some random and govt sites and steal all the poor kiwis poor money or just cause random inconvenience! oh dear!!!

71 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 573624 26-Jan-2012 14:27 Send private message

marmel: Good debate going on here!

I also think many have come to see theft of material over the web as a victimless crime. It's almost as though if you aren't physically picking up the DVD/software etc and slipping it under your coat then you aren't really taking anything.

I appreciate online commerce is different I several ways but the basic concept is still the same. Someone is producing a product which has some value and exchanges that product for compensation, normally money.



Now you are part of the problem, if what you are wanting is debate. Copyright infringement is not theft, even if it is illegal. Theft is covered under the Crimes Act and copyright infringement is covered under the Copyright Act. Copyright infringement is largely a civil matter regarding abuse of monopoly rights and is not dealt with in the criminal court, unless the infringement is large scale and for monetary gain, which is when it becomes a criminal offence (s131 of the Act).

To label it as "theft" or "stealing" is to cover the matter with an emotional overlay that prevents rational analysis and discussion of the real problem with copyright in the digital environment.

You say
 Someone is producing a product which has some value and exchanges that product for compensation, normally money.
 

That is one business model, yes and, until the advent of the internet, was the dominant one for the last 300 years (if we're limiting the discussion to items that come under copyright). However, it assumes a number of things:
a) effort and time go into the production of *each* item
b) each item has an intrinsic value because of that effort 
c) each item is an individual thing.

There are other models, which we can talk about if you want.

Regarding theft, though, section 219 of the Crimes Act is pretty specific: 
219 Theft or stealing
(1) Theft or stealing is the act of,—

(a) dishonestly and without claim of right, taking any property with intent to deprive any owner  permanently of that property or of any interest in that property; or

(b) dishonestly and without claim of right, using or dealing with any property with intent to deprive any owner permanently of that property or of any interest in that property after obtaining possession of, or control over, the property in whatever manner.


The key words there are "deprive" and "permanently". When you copy something, the original stays with the owner, therefore they are not deprived even momentarily of the item. The only thing you could be said to be "taking" from them is the opportunity to make money. If they haven't already got it, you can't steal it from them.

Copyright is an artificial legal construct, the granting of a monopolistic opportunity to obtain recompense for the holding of the copyright (whether the holder is the creator of the item that the right pertains to) for a limited period of time, by restricting what persons other than the rights holder can do with the item, particularly around making copies.

That's all.

If you want to actually debate copyright, infringement and what's going on, please avoid using incorrect and emotive terms like "stealing" with relation to it, or the whole thing just descends into another internet screaming match.

~mark 

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  Reply # 573625 26-Jan-2012 14:28 Send private message

joker97: i read something that has a good point.

no one would think of hacking into nz sites ... afterall nz wasn't on the map before ... (ok correct me if wrong)

but now http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/6318272/NZ-websites-under-DoS-attack-threat

hey why not go hack some random and govt sites and steal all the poor kiwis poor money or just cause random inconvenience! oh dear!!!


NZ government sites have been the targets of DDOS's before, for instance when DIA introduced it's filtering regime.

I've read the full inditement and I have no problems with anything he's done, morally or legally. "Breach of copyright" should never under any circumstances be a criminal offense, merely a civil one.

Personally I think the NZ government should apologise to Mr Dotcom, give him back all his property, and tell the US to sod off, but I can't see it happening.

601 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 573631 26-Jan-2012 14:41 Send private message

I think the problem is that copyright used to be a negotiation between corporate interests. Individuals didn't care, because copyright didn't _stop_ them from doing anything they wanted to do.

Back then, we could and did share books, records, movies, anything. We could sing Happy Birthday, White Christmas and no one would care. We could record mix tapes, give them to girls we had crushes on and no one would care (well, we cared).  I remember back at my first job all of the emails flying around asking if anyone had taped Star Trek from the night before.

Now, with digital media, copyright is impinging on individuals lives. It stops us from doing what we want to do. We aren't allowed to copy DVDs to PCs. We aren't allowed to watch a movie on our iPad, iPhone, etc. We can't share a movie with a friend. We can't use music in personal videos on YouTube. We needed to be given special permission for a father to share music with his son. Forget about making a mix tape for your girl, that'll get you in trouble!

Of course people are going to bristle.

Add to that the regional discrepancies with pricing and availability that the Internet makes very, very obvious and you have the recipe for outright revolt. For example, Hurt Locker didn't make it to New Zealand until April 2010, 2 months after it won an Oscar, and almost a year after it was released in the US.

I think it will get worse for the copyright police, and the only thing that will stop it is a renegotiation that results in normal, encouraged (remember kindie, sharing is good!) behaviour being allowed.

As I write this, I have a conclusion. The current copyright climate closely mirrors the current surveillance climate. The behaviour of police in surveillance has typically been limited by cost. Sure, they were _allowed_ by the law to follow everyone when they were in public, but doing it was prohibitively expensive (4-10 people per person to track). So, they never did. However, now it's cheap. There are cameras everywhere, they can add a GPS tracker to a car and follow it with 3 guys (1/shift) in a central location. All of a sudden, we have to decide if it is appropriate to allow the police to follow everyone. In the US, the supreme court just did, unanimously.  Police aren't allowed to track people with a tracker without a warrant.

Copyright is the same. Copying was always rife, owners just couldn't track it before. Since it is now mediated it's much more easily trackable. I think that we, as a society, need to decide what copying we are going to care about.

Personally, I think that hardcore enforcement is just not going to work. As Apple is learning with jailbreaks (and learned with unlocks), there are many, many more bored teenagers than you have budget to fight against.




3331 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 573641 26-Jan-2012 14:56 Send private message

nzlemming:
marmel: Good debate going on here!

I also think many have come to see theft of material over the web as a victimless crime. It's almost as though if you aren't physically picking up the DVD/software etc and slipping it under your coat then you aren't really taking anything.

I appreciate online commerce is different I several ways but the basic concept is still the same. Someone is producing a product which has some value and exchanges that product for compensation, normally money.



Now you are part of the problem, if what you are wanting is debate. Copyright infringement is not theft, even if it is illegal. Theft is covered under the Crimes Act and copyright infringement is covered under the Copyright Act. Copyright infringement is largely a civil matter regarding abuse of monopoly rights and is not dealt with in the criminal court, unless the infringement is large scale and for monetary gain, which is when it becomes a criminal offence (s131 of the Act).

To label it as "theft" or "stealing" is to cover the matter with an emotional overlay that prevents rational analysis and discussion of the real problem with copyright in the digital environment.

You say
 Someone is producing a product which has some value and exchanges that product for compensation, normally money.
 

That is one business model, yes and, until the advent of the internet, was the dominant one for the last 300 years (if we're limiting the discussion to items that come under copyright). However, it assumes a number of things:
a) effort and time go into the production of *each* item
b) each item has an intrinsic value because of that effort 
c) each item is an individual thing.

There are other models, which we can talk about if you want.

Regarding theft, though, section 219 of the Crimes Act is pretty specific: 
219 Theft or stealing
(1) Theft or stealing is the act of,—

(a) dishonestly and without claim of right, taking any property with intent to deprive any owner  permanently of that property or of any interest in that property; or

(b) dishonestly and without claim of right, using or dealing with any property with intent to deprive any owner permanently of that property or of any interest in that property after obtaining possession of, or control over, the property in whatever manner.


The key words there are "deprive" and "permanently". When you copy something, the original stays with the owner, therefore they are not deprived even momentarily of the item. The only thing you could be said to be "taking" from them is the opportunity to make money. If they haven't already got it, you can't steal it from them.

Copyright is an artificial legal construct, the granting of a monopolistic opportunity to obtain recompense for the holding of the copyright (whether the holder is the creator of the item that the right pertains to) for a limited period of time, by restricting what persons other than the rights holder can do with the item, particularly around making copies.

That's all.

If you want to actually debate copyright, infringement and what's going on, please avoid using incorrect and emotive terms like "stealing" with relation to it, or the whole thing just descends into another internet screaming match.

~mark 



Did you overlook this clause?


"any interest in that property after obtaining possession of, or control over, the property in whatever manner."

No matter how you and I try to debate the semantics it is illegal...illegal....illegal.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

71 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 573642 26-Jan-2012 14:56 Send private message

Actually, mix tapes were (and are) infringing. But as you say, too hard to track.

71 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 573644 26-Jan-2012 14:59 Send private message

KiwiNZ:
Did you overlook this clause?


"any interest in that property after obtaining possession of, or control over, the property in whatever manner."


No, I didn't. Do please explain a) how a copy affects the control over the original and b) how an expression of creative output is regarded as property. 

Hint: it isn't. 

601 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5

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  Reply # 573647 26-Jan-2012 15:05 Send private message

nzlemming: Actually, mix tapes were (and are) infringing. But as you say, too hard to track.


Yep, that's the point.  It was always against the law, but no one cared enough to stop you.  Now people care because it's cheap to detect and there are profits to be made through the threat of lawsuits.

Doesn't mean we (society we) want to work that way.  In fact, it should be pretty obvious that a not insignificant fraction of the population doesn't. :)

Much like speeding before speed cameras.  It was always against the law, it was just largely unenforceable.

Technology makes enforcement cheap.  Do we really want to enforce the law to that level?

We could, for example, mandate a GPS tracker in every vehicle in NZ.  It would cost < $100 (receivers are cheap, as is storage) per vehicle and it could be checked at every WoF.  It could be used to detect people running stop signs, red lights, failing to give way to the right as well as speeding.  But do we _want_ to do that?  It would certainly be profitable!




2391 posts

Uber Geek
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Inactive user


  Reply # 573656 26-Jan-2012 15:13 Send private message

nzlemming: please explain a) how a copy affects the control over the original and b) how an expression of creative output is regarded as property. 

Hint: it isn't. 


Intellectual property can be stolen

A copy can have sever affects on the original if for instance the original has not yet been released, ie software for instance that took months of work and is dumped onto the internet. The original now practically worthless. The same can be said with unreleased movies. Of course the copied product has some control over the original, hence less people going to the movies to watch the latest Tintin movie. 

3331 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1160


  Reply # 573661 26-Jan-2012 15:23 Send private message

nzlemming:
KiwiNZ:
Did you overlook this clause?


"any interest in that property after obtaining possession of, or control over, the property in whatever manner."


No, I didn't. Do please explain a) how a copy affects the control over the original and b) how an expression of creative output is regarded as property. 

Hint: it isn't. 


If a rights owner releases his work under say GPL he has made that decision and thus controlled how it were released.

If a rights owner has copyright and releases under restrictions and someone copies, uploads  to file sharing the rights owner no longer has l control and no longer has benefit of what he decided were the rights to that work.

Hint: its illegal to file share protected property.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

11124 posts

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  Reply # 573662 26-Jan-2012 15:24 Send private message

If I have made a COPY of work, then the person holding the original can still fully control it. They cannot control the copy that I have made of it, but if they choose to offer the orig for sale, nothing stopping them, if they want to withhold it and only sell it to people in a single market over a single platform, they also can do that. The copy is all that I control.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 573663 26-Jan-2012 15:27 Send private message

jpollock: ...Now, with digital media, copyright is impinging on individuals lives. It stops us from doing what we want to do....

Of course people are going to bristle.

...Add to that the regional discrepancies with pricing and availability that the Internet makes very, very obvious and you have the recipe for outright revolt...


My sentiments exactly when it comes to DRM, and computer games.

I resent buying a retail copy of a game only to discover that I must be online to play.
I resent being forced to put the disk in the drive every time I want to play my game.
I resent paying more for an electronic copy of a game than someone in another country pays.
I resent a company being able to disable my games, if they so wish (or if their authentication systems fail).

A pirated copy comes with none of the above disadvantages, although it comes with other disadvantages.

In my case they have drastically devauled their product, as I will now only pay minimal amounts.
At least Apple learned, with the removal of DRM from music sold on iTunes. Why punish your customers, and encourage piracy with DRM?

1007 posts

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  Reply # 573669 26-Jan-2012 15:35 Send private message

BraaiGuy:
nzlemming: please explain a) how a copy affects the control over the original and b) how an expression of creative output is regarded as property. 

Hint: it isn't. 


Intellectual property can be stolen

A copy can have sever affects on the original if for instance the original has not yet been released, ie software for instance that took months of work and is dumped onto the internet. The original now practically worthless. The same can be said with unreleased movies. Of course the copied product has some control over the original, hence less people going to the movies to watch the latest Tintin movie. 


That's a completely different case to copying something already being distributed.

That is more like the Coca Cola. The recipe is secret, but it could be 'stolen' (with a camera say). You would not be stealing their original partchment, but would be depriving them of their exclusive ability to produce that soft drink.
However, recipes are not subject to copywrite, so you could actually distribute it on the internet freely.

2391 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 573675 26-Jan-2012 15:46 Send private message

Skolink:
BraaiGuy:
nzlemming: please explain a) how a copy affects the control over the original and b) how an expression of creative output is regarded as property. 

Hint: it isn't. 


Intellectual property can be stolen

A copy can have sever affects on the original if for instance the original has not yet been released, ie software for instance that took months of work and is dumped onto the internet. The original now practically worthless. The same can be said with unreleased movies. Of course the copied product has some control over the original, hence less people going to the movies to watch the latest Tintin movie. 


That's a completely different case to copying something already being distributed.

That is more like the Coca Cola. The recipe is secret, but it could be 'stolen' (with a camera say). You would not be stealing their original partchment, but would be depriving them of their exclusive ability to produce that soft drink.
However, recipes are not subject to copywrite, so you could actually distribute it on the internet freely.


Really?

What about compiled software that has been, boxed, but not yet released to the public? There is no recipe to view. Obviously a different story if the source code is taken.

But its possible to make millions of copies of the software, and sell it.

Same can be said about a movie which is days away from a premier. The product is already complete. Its possible to copy it, distribute it, and charge money for it. That has a huge effect on the Premier (The original product), which some here are claiming is not possible to steal.

71 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 573705 26-Jan-2012 16:27 Send private message

BraaiGuy: 
Same can be said about a movie which is days away from a premier. The product is already complete. Its possible to copy it, distribute it, and charge money for it. That has a huge effect on the Premier (The original product), which some here are claiming is not possible to steal.


Do you have evidence for this "huge effect"?  And I mean concrete numbers, not "Temuera Morrison said so, so it must be true".

The movie industry and the recording industry have long used these arguments to claim stronger and  more restrictive enforcement over copyright material, but they never provide any verifiable evidence.  They also promote the terms "intellectual property" and "stealing" in order to provoke exactly these types of arguments.   Edit: Both industries have had record years for income regularly over the last decade, despite all the "piracy" that's "killing their industries".

It seems to me that, if "intellectual property" was a valid concept, we would have an Intellectual Property Act governing it in New Zealand. We don't. We have copyright legislation, we have patent legislation and we have trademark legislation. These three areas of law all deal with monopoly rights over certain, very different expressions of ideas, not with property.

The conflation of them into "intellectual property" started in the 1960's with the rise of neo-liberal economic thought in which everything is for sale. These are the same economists that brought us "trickle down" and asset sales - policies that have seen the world go to the widest economic gap between rich and poor ever. If they can convert these rights into property, then they can push for perpetual ownership, which means Mickey Mouse (for example) will never enter the public domain. For a view on what that might mean, have a look at Spider Robinson's story "Melancholy Elephants"  - it's okay, you're allowed; he licensed it under Creative Commons. And he saw this coming in 1983.

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